Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea, Taiwan!

Day 25, parts 1-3: Lots MORE Shanghai CreHoing/sightseeing
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Day 16, part 1: Beijing Shijingshan

Postby David H » Fri May 17, 2013 4:26 am

Day 16, part 1: Beijing Shijingshan

This was the first day of actual coastering on the TPR China tour! (Well, unless you count the alpine coaster up to the Great Wall.) And it was a big day, in terms of numbers of coasters – the biggest day of the whole trip! There were 16 credits to be had, if you count powered coasters, which I don’t. But only two of them were powered, which still leaves 14 credits in one day, which is pretty impressive. And not one of them was a coaster I’d ever need to ride again! But they were nice parks, and I’m glad I went.

The first park we visited was Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park, just west of downtown Beijing. It was actually a decent sized park, with a ton of coasters, most of which were actually adult or at least family sized and most of which were what we called Chinese knockoff coasters by the Beijing Shibolai Amusement Equipment company. For those who don’t know, Chinese knockoffs are coasters by Chinese coaster companies that rip off other coasters by other companies, much like Chinese companies do with so many other western products. Yes, they even do it with coasters!

On different days at different parks, we’d visit them in different ways as a group. But usually, we’d start on some or all of the coasters together, then split up. At parks like this where there was virtually no one else in the park, we generally stayed together through all of the coasters, then we had a set amount of time we agreed on to explore what we’d like.

Robb and Elissa decided to start first with Feng Shen Coaster, to give us a true taste of what to expect from coasters in China – rides that might kill us! Feng Shen was a Chinese knockoff shuttle loop coaster -- or Circle Reciprocal Coaster, according to the manufacturer’s plate. What made the ride scary was that at the top of the loop, while the train was upside down, it basically dropped an inch or two onto the tracks, and made this horrible scraping sound. We figured that if we didn’t die on this coaster, we’d probably be safe on the rest of the trip! From there, we headed to Mine Coaster, which had some decent caves for theming, along with trees growing all through the coaster’s structure! It was also a tight fit, which caused many to bang their knees!

Then we went to Shenzhou Coaster, a knockoff SLC – where I experienced my first ever denial from riding a coaster, because I was too big. I handled it fairly well, but it was still a sad moment. I actually might have been able to fit, but didn’t get the chance to try. They had told us that we had to be under 200 pounds to ride. Most of the bigger people had opted not to bother trying, so we didn’t hold up the group. But when I saw people who were pretty close to my size riding, I decided to give it a shot, along with some others. But when the ride ops saw us all heading up, they gave us all motions that we couldn’t ride. It was a shame, but I didn’t want to cause any trouble, especially not on a group trip. The one good thing is that everyone who did ride agreed that it was horrible and painful! So I didn’t miss much.

Next, we rode the Worm Coaster, one of many wacky worms that we’d ride on the trip. The most interesting thing about it was the closed ticket booth, shaped like the head of a worm. That was actually one of the neat things about this park: some of the rides had ticket booths in the shape of some character.

Then we caught a ride on the Golden Horse spinning coaster called Spinning Coaster – which, like most spinners in China, didn’t spin all that much. Then it was time for my second denial ever – and at the same park. The coaster was Atomic Coaster, a Senyo knockoff of an Arrow loopscrew. I actually tried on this one and almost made it. Oh well. Again, I hear that I didn’t miss much, though it supposedly wasn’t as awful as the SLC knockoff.

Robb decided to check out the station for the Spinning Batman coaster, even though it was pretty clearly closed, although the station was wide open to the public to enter. The coaster clearly hadn’t been running in quite some time, judging from the stats of the station – although I guess in China, that may not be a good way to judge! There was sand all over the floor, and some holes in the floor of the station! There were sandbags in the coaster car seats. And inexplicably a moped in the station! That’s another credit we weren’t getting that day! But people who’d been on the last TPR China trip had said it was awful, so again no big loss there.

Then we tried to ride the indoor themed Jurassic Adventure coaster, which turned out to be my 900th coaster, although I didn’t know it at the time. I mostly lost count during the trip, and had a vague idea that I’d be hitting it that day. Later, I’d post a picture on Facebook of myself and Neil on Spinning Coaster, thinking that it was my 900th, but I was slightly off. But the first train of TPR people broke it! It got stuck just after the lift hill! Robb was all excited, taking lots of video! Eventually they got it running again, and since this is China, they didn’t bother to make sure it was safe, and just let us foolish American credit whores ride! And of course, we did! It was an ok ride and had a surprising amount of non-animatronic dinosaur statues and fake trees inside.

From there, we wanted to ride the Crazy Mouse, but while the station and the plot of land and the footers (with screws sticking out of them!) were all there, the coaster itself wasn’t! Next was Space Trip, a neat Schwartzkopf-esque family compact coaster with lots of big swooping turns. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I’d expected to. Apparently, there are two other versions of this model, including one more in China and one in Cuba. Ironically, there was one that closed a few years back at Sun Park, the park we’d be visiting very soon.

We had a little time to explore the rest of the park. For the smaller parks, TPR generally bought us tickets for all of the coasters, and anything beyond that we’d have to pay for ourselves. But in most cases, the rides at these smaller parks were at most a dollar or two. Most of us opted to hit the haunted attractions here. The park had a haunted walkthrough, which was really cheesy, and in some parts falling apart! But they keep the lighting on a lot of these so low that you have to take pictures so that you can see everything with the flash! We also rode the shooting dark ride, themed to “American Adventure”, which was just awful, but in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. The guns couldn’t even remotely aim either. Most of us barely hit anything, and we’re mostly experts at these rides!

When our time was up, we gathered up and took the bus to Sun Park.

to be continued...
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 005.jpg
A good park has to have mascots!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 001.jpg
Beijing Shijingshan is a pretty big park.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 006.jpg
Feng Shen Coaster, a shuttle loop knockoff.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 007.jpg
Sorry, a Circle Reciprocal coaster!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 011.jpg
One of the problems with taking pictures on this trip was that many of the parks we visited were dead. So, for the adult coasters with larger capacities, it was sometimes hard to get good pictures with people in the trains! We'd all be in the station or riding. Then, when we left, there would be no one or hardly anyone riding! Still, I'll take actual rides over pictures of rides any time!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 010.jpg
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 014.jpg
I can almost hear the car screeching along the track here!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 020.jpg
Mine Coaster.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 018.jpg
Such extensive theming! Let's call PETA for cruelty to animatronic crocodiles!
(Bonus points if you got the reference.)
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 021.jpg
This is a crappy picture, but I would drink a lot of these orangey drinks on the trip, since I'm not much of a soda person. Most park drink shops had either real orange juice or this stuff.
What we loved most about this was how earnest she looks! We later realized when seeing "her" in a picture with an actual woman that "she" was a man!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 022.jpg
Posting this so much later than everyone else means that everyone already beat me to the EPCOT jokes...
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 023.jpg
Here we're crossing the street to the other side of the park.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 024.jpg
I loved the ticket booths at the park, even though most of them were closed. Those are 3-D glasses on his head, so I guess this was a 3D or 4D theater.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 028.jpg
Bill doesn't look suitably scared.
Besides, there's no time for this now, we have credits to get!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 029.jpg
Well, if that didn't scare you, Bill, this knockoff SLC will!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 031.jpg
Well, some of us had a credit to get. Some of us weren't allowed on!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 032.jpg
This doesn't look nearly as painful as I'm told it felt!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 033.jpg
Just imagine a lot of painful screams here. Seriously!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 034.jpg
Duh, wanna buy a ticket? It's a dumb yokel worm as a ticket booth!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 035.jpg
(Barely) Spinning Coaster.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 037.jpg
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 038.jpg
Denied credit #2 of my life, my day and this park!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 041.jpg
Well, it's not like I haven't been on many loopscrews before, most of which I imagine were less painful!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 043.jpg
Theming in the abandoned Spinning Batman station.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 044.jpg
Well, maybe this theming is a little better than the wall scratchings.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 045.jpg
No, I don't think we're be riding this.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 046.jpg
No, Betty, the moped doesn't count as a credit!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 048.jpg
Grrrr.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 051.jpg
Larry and Jolie are very impressed by the theming!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 054.jpg
It's actually not bad theming for a smaller park.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 060.jpg
Some nice theming on what I imagine is a Disko knockoff.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 061.jpg
Pretty impressive theming for a Top Spin knockoff!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 062.jpg
As you can see, the park was really crowded!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 063.jpg
Time to ride the Crazy Mouse....
or not....
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 064.jpg
Yay! A Space Trip to EPCOT!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 068.jpg
Robb's always working!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 076.jpg
I like this shot.
It was actually a pretty decent coaster, probably the best in the park.
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 087.jpg
Now, it's time for the haunted walkthrough. Neil doesn't like these, but trudges through it like a trooper!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 078.jpg
Now THAT's some Klassy theming!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 081.jpg
SCARY!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 092.jpg
At least I can see you with my flash!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 096.jpg
A really odd and really crappy ride.
No, I'm talking about American Adventure, not Robb!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 098.jpg
This was the best picture of a crappy ride I was able to get with my crappy camera. (You'd think they'd go well together!)
You're not missing much!
Asia '12 - Days 16-17 - Beijing 049.jpg
Sorry, I just knocked the train full of TPR people, getting them stuck on the track. I learned that trick from a Hadrosaur.
(This is out of order, because I accidentally posted the same picture twice.)

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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby RoCo » Fri May 17, 2013 1:47 pm

The exterior of that American Adventure ride completely cracks me up. They didn't even TRY to make it look "American." Or "good." :lmao:
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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby David H » Fri May 17, 2013 4:02 pm

Yeah, it's the weird dichotomy of the park -- and much of China, to be honest -- that I found interesting. On one hand, you have some really nicely themed flat rides and even the ride ticket booths. On the other hand, you have a haunted house and shooting dark ride that are practically falling apart!

Walking around the cities is actually much the same. On one street you'll have all these modern, LED-lit tall hotels. A couple of blocks over, you'll see a row of decrepit pet stores with 5-10 hungry, sad cats in each tiny dirty cage. Then a few blocks over, you'll see a long row of new -- but uninhabited -- skyscrapers that they built to give people work. But it's not clear if anyone is every actually going to move in to them! And a few more blocks over are some gorgeous ancient temples.

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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby rctneil » Sun May 19, 2013 4:35 am

Great update David.

I appreciate that really awful photo of me in the haunted walkthrough. It really was pitch black and you couldn't see a thing in there! Your flash definitely blinded us all.

The SLC at Shijingshan wasn't good at all but the loopscrew was the best one I rode on that trip. I think they got progressively worse from this one onwards!

Space Trip really surprised me, I really enjoyed that ride. I also found it funny that the speaker on the lamppost near to Space Trip was emitting a very loud excerpt of "White Noise - Great Hits" it seemed. I think Robb has a short video of that and TPR's new found ability to turn it off!

Going back to Feng Shen Coaster, yeh, not much to say but it was terrifying. I remember sitting in the train and attempting to get my OTSR to lock and then the op came over and gestured that this one was broken and to just loop the seatbelt through the restraint and that will do.

Anyway, looking forward to Sun Park.
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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby cfc » Sun May 19, 2013 6:32 am

^Neil, I salute you for having the courage to endure the haunted-house attractions. You are a trouper, indeed.

I was denied Shenzou Coaster, too, but wasn't bothered about it.
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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby David H » Mon May 20, 2013 7:37 am

That was the cool thing about Neil. Yeah, I teased him and laughed a lot and gave him grief. But even though a lot of the upside down flat rides and haunted rides scared him, he still tried them all.

I think that's an aspect of this hobby that we tend to forget about: that many amusement park goes are truly afraid of the rides. For many of us who are more experienced park goers, it takes a lot to truly scare us. The thing that most scares me most these days are whether the coasters are going to be so rough that they hurt! (See lots of Chinese knockoffs or Vekoma coasters or badly maintained woodies for good examples,) But we forget that when most people walk up to a really tall coaster, or one with inversions, they're inherently at least somewhat scared. And conquering those fears is a big part of the fun of this hobby. But most of us have already conquered a lot of those fears.

For me, the scariest moment of the trip came just after the TPR China trip, when I jumped off of the Macau Tower for the controlled Skyjump. I'd ridden nearly 1000 coasters at that point, but jumping 764 feet down off a tower was truly terrifying. Jumping off was really hard to do. But I did it. And once I was off, I was fine, laughing and throwing my hands up.

That's an experience that's hard to come by these days for a lot of us, who are experienced coaster and theme park enthusiasts. Yet, it's such a basic part of the experience for most of the other people in the park.


As for being denied for the two coasters, I tried to be ok about it. but it bothered me. As a credit whore, it's always hard to miss a coaster. Overseas, I'll honestly not go out of my way to get in a crappy coaster credit. But when it's sitting right in front of me, I'll definitely ride it. But there was also the blow of being to fat to ride. it was my first denial. And it was tough on the ego. I've gained weight for some time, but it had never affected my hobby until that day.

But at least the three credits I missed on the trip were all crappy ones. I'm getting more concerned about potentially getting denied on Expedition GeForce. I'm going to try to lose some weight -- and not just for the coaster, but for overall health and looks. But I don't know if I will make it. Time to go back on the Intamin diet plan!

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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby rctneil » Mon May 20, 2013 12:49 pm

Thanks David! It wasn't the fact I was scared of those flats, but more the fact that I am not normally a flat ride person. I like to stick to my good of trusted (oh this is china we are talking about, somewhat trusted anyway) coasters. I am not a fan of getting dizzy at all but some of those flat rides out there looked so unique that I just had to put up with them and ride them.

That pink and yellow contraption at Happy Valley Beijing that rotated you slowly upside sown and kept you there with all the blood rushing to your head was very uncomfortable and made me very dizzy and I remember the laughing that ensued from you when we came off! :-D

The other memorable ones were that horrible excuse for a frisbee at Victory Kingdom. I have no idea what they did to it but boy did that make me feel horrible! Frisbee's are normally fine just like the large one at HV Beijing which I really enjoyed! I also love Maelstrom at Drayton back home.

That other unique ride at Victory Kingdom looked dreadful but didn't turn out to be that bad whereas their Waikiki Wave was awful. I think I went to rest at the aptly named "Stomach King" restaurant after!

In regards to the haunted walkthroughs that China seems to have a thousand of, overly not keen on them as I do seem to jump at the smallest of scares, (especially those pesky air cannons!). The first few at the HV parks were ok. I think the worst was the pirate ship one at Chaunlord Manor and a little one at the Xiaofantain place. So must apologise to everyone who endured a trip through any of those with me, especially Chuck.

But yes, I do fully agree that some people who don;t visit amusement parks alot, it is a big thing to ride some of these rides.
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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby larrygator » Mon May 20, 2013 4:21 pm

David H wrote:Walking around the cities is actually much the same. On one street you'll have all these modern, LED-lit tall hotels. A couple of blocks over, you'll see a row of decrepit pet stores with 5-10 hungry, sad cats in each tiny dirty cage.


I thought those were butcher shops. :lol:
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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby cfc » Mon May 20, 2013 5:11 pm

^Those cats were prepackaged for take out.
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Re: Photo TR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea

Postby David H » Tue May 21, 2013 5:05 am

^ We kept asking the guides (because virtually no one at any of the restaurants we visited spoke any English) at all of the group meals what a lot of the dishes were, especially the ones that were basically some fried meat product in some sauce, which were the majority of the meat offerings. I was waiting for one of them to give a look and say, "Um, don't ask". Or even worse, tell us with a cheery smile that it was cat or dog.

I'm still wondering if they always told us the truth.

At some of the amusement parks, when we'd find the random meat on a stick vendors, I took to using sounds and sign language to convey my questions. If it looked like chicken, I'd point at the meat on the stick and mime flapping wings with a questioning look on my face. Generally, they got it and would nod yes or no. For beef, I'd moo. If they said no to those, I'd snort like a pig. If they didn't answer to any of those, I'd move on!

The same skills would later come in handy at the night markets in Taiwan. Although one time when I ordered chicken, it turned out to be fried chicken SKIN on a stick! That was just odd.

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